Also known as the “Whiskey” route, the Machame route is now the most popular ascent route on Mt Kilimanjaro. Compared with the Marangu route, the walking days on the Machame route are longer and the walks are steeper. However, the scenery is spectacular and landscape interesting. The Machame route is considered a difficult route, and is better suited for more adventurous trekkers and those with some hiking or backpacking experience.
The Machame route is scenically beautiful and varied. However, due to its popularity there are increased numbers of trekkers, it loses some of its splendour. The Machame route approaches the summit from the southwest and descends using the Mweka route, rewarding climbers with views of the expansive Shira Plateau, an optional scramble up Lava Tower, a climb up the Great Barranco wall, and a traverse underneath Kilimanjaro’s southern ice field.
After arrival at your hotel in Moshi, you will rest. And later there will be a meeting with the your guide for briefing about your trek and Mt Kilimanjaro. After finish to the briefing he will check all your mountain gears to see if you have all equipment, and if you will miss some of them he will take you to rent the missing gears.
Your 7 days machame route climbing start for driving you from Moshi to the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Gate it takes about 45 minutes. After paper work the journey start passing through the village of Machame which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain.
We depart the park gate and walk through the rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge. At lower elevations the trail can be muddy and slippery. Gaiters and trekking poles are a good idea here. We continue a short distance until we reach the Machame Camp.
Elevation: 1830m/6000ft to 3050m/9950ft
Climbing Time: 5-6 hours
Habitat: Montane Forest
After breakfast we leave the glades of the rain forest and continue on an ascending path, crossing the valley along a steep rocky ridge. The route now turns west onto a river gorge until we arrive at the Shira campsite.
Elevation: 3050m/9950ft to 3850m/12,600ft
Walking Time: 4-5 hours
From the Shira Plateau we continue to the east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we continue, our direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower, called the “Shark’s Tooth” (elev 4650m/15,250ft). Shortly after the tower we come to the second junction which goes to the Arrow Glacier. We now continue down to the Barranco Camp. Although you end the day around the same elevation as when you began, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.
Elevation: 3850m/12,600ft to 4000m/13,000ft
Walking Time: 5-6 hours
After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge up the Barranco Wall to the Karanga Valley and the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail.
Elevation: 4000m/13,000ft to 4050m/13,250ft
Climbing Time: 34 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
We continue up to the Barafu Camp. You have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day.
Elevation: 4050m/13,250ft to 4700m/15,350ft
Climbing Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Very early in the morning (midnight to 2 am), we continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. You head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. At Stella Point you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see. Faster hikers may view the sunrise from the summit.
From Stella Point, you may encounter snow all the way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. Once at Uhuru Peak you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa!
From the summit we begin our descent by continuing straight down to the Mweka Camp, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You may want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. We arrive at Mweka Camp and enjoy our last evening on the mountain.
Elevation: 4700m/15,350ft to 5895m/19,340ft
Down to 3090m/10,150ft
Distance: 5km/3mi up / 13km/8mi down
Climbing Time: 5-7 hours up / 5-6 hours down
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
After breakfast we continue descending down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy).
Tanzania Joy Tours vehicle will be waiting for you at Mweka Gate to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi (about 30 minutes). End of your 7 day machame route climbing
Elevation: 3090m/10,150ft to 1680m/5500ft
Climbing Time: 3-4 hours